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The George Gershwin Reader (Anglais) Relié – 31 décembre 2003

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Reading The George Gershwin Reader yields fresh ideas, opening the door for further investigations (Evan Rapport, Music and Letters) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

George Gershwin is one of the giants of American music, unique in that he was both a brilliant writer of popular songs and of more serious music. Here, music lovers are reated to a spectacular celebration of this great American composer. The Reader offers a kaleidoscopic collection of writings by Gershwin, as well as those about Gershwin, written by a who's who of famous commentators. More than eighty pieces of superb variety, color, and depth include the critical debate over Gershwin's concert pieces, especially "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris." There is a complete section devoted to the controversies over "Porgy and Bess," including correspondence between Gershwin and DuBose Hayward, the opera's librettist, plus unique interviews with the original Porgy and Bess--Todd Duncan and Anne Brown. Sprinkled throughout the book are excerpts from Gershwin's own letters, which offer unique insight into this fascinating and charming man. Along with a detailed chronology of the composer's life, the editors provide informative introductions to each entry. Here is a book for anyone interested in American music. Scholars, performers, and Gershwin's legions of fans will find it an irresistible feast. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a real must for anyone interested in Gershwin! A great collection of vital texts! Beautifully published. A great read.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9c63a8b8) étoiles sur 5 8 commentaires
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c6cf450) étoiles sur 5 Both informative and enjoyable reading 26 janvier 2004
Par F. Behrens - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Having four biographies of George Gershwin (GG) already in my collection, I wondered if something called "The George Gershwin Reader" would be of any value. I needn't have wondered! Reading it cover to cover has been one of the more pleasant tasks I have encountered as a reviewer.
This Oxford University Press book retails for $30. Edited by Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson, it is organized into eight sections: Portraits of the Artist, The Growing Limelight (1919-1924), Fame and Fortune (1924-1930), Maturity (1930-1935, Porgy and Bess, Last Years: Hollywood (1936-1937), Obituaries and Eulogies, and As Time Passes. There are 83 reading selections in all. Some are contemporary reports, essays, letters, biographies; some are backward looks written since the composer's death.
In short, this can be used as a sourcebook for those studying various aspects of Gershwin's life and works (practically the same things) or read for pure enjoyment. My favorite anecdote that so wonderfully reveals the innocent egotism of GG is the story told on pp. 181-182 about a remark he made to composer Harry Ruby and his reaction to being reminded of it two years later. Priceless.
Each selection is introduced by the editors, who give background information about what is to be discussed and the persons involved. There is no dearth of negative criticism about GG's "classical" compositions; and they have even included one which states that Gershwin could not have written the music attributed to him. (The implication is that no Jewish composer could have done that well, a strong echo of Wagner's identical claim, and then contradicted by the writer's claiming the music is bad anyway!)
This OUP book is the very model of what a "reader" should be-and teachers and students of the history of American music, I will be making great use of the information therein.
Need I add, Highly Recommended?
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c6cf4a4) étoiles sur 5 Nice attempt, but it's been done more colorfully before 31 janvier 2005
Par Ted Levy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Certainly this is a worthy effort in the realm of Gershwin scholarship, and received deserved attention with an unusually long Gershwin piece, citing articles reprinted in this book, that appeared in the New Yorker magazine on Jan. 10, 2005. Nevertheless, readers should be aware that in 1998--and still available on Amazon--the first book to reprint these amazing primary-source articles by Gershwin and his associates, contemporaries, critics, etc., was published: GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME. Its focus was to provide an overview using original sources and writers (including both Gershwins, DuBose Heyward, Alexander Woolcoot, Olin Downes, Paul Whiteman, Brooks Atkinson, and other critics; also reprinting newspaper and magazine reviews of the major Gershwin symphonic and theatrical productions) of ONLY the contemporary accounts of the composer's works, as they were written and premiered.
In addition this was and is the first and only full-color book on Gershwin, and it augments the articles with page after page of reproductions of original sheet music, programs, magazine art, photos, posters, and pertinent memorabilia, all published during the composer's lifetime. It would be a shame not to acknowledge the groundbreaking nature of this first book to present the contemporary materials of Gershwin's life and career. Readers who are fascinated by this subject, and would like to see color visual counterparts to the original articles, are encouraged to seek out a copy of GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME.
However, readers should understand that the new GERSHWIN READER expands on the materials in GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME by also including significant letters by the composer and his associates, as well as criticism and discussions of the works by authorities and fellow composers in the years following Gershwin's death in 1937--extremely important materials, and a must for anyone interested in all of the 20th century's opinions of the composer. GERSHWIN IN HIS TIME remains valuable as a scrapbook of contemporary accounts and color images that present a complete "you-are-there," year-by-year (1919-1937) overview of Gershwin's career and works.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9c6cf8dc) étoiles sur 5 Gershwin to the core 24 février 2005
Par Jon Hunt - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
As compiled by Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson, George Gershwin springs to life in this book as much as his music. Told from the inside out, the authors allow Gershwin, his contemporaries and those who followed him to create a picture of the composer and how he lived and breathed music every day. This is a beautiful book.

Chief among the contributions in "The George Gershwin Reader" are letters between Gershwin and those with whom he came into contact. We read Gershwin's letters describing how he composed, reactions from him to those who challenged his compositions (especially questions about his own orchestrations) and his eternal boyishness as he wrote friends and family regarding his daily pleasures. His early demise only strengthened the views of so many that Gershwin was a musical genius and that he, more than any other composer, captured the essence of America in transition between the two world wars.

Although "The George Gershwin Reader" can occasionally get overly detailed in musical theory, the pages flow easily. The brief summaries that the authors give before each numbered entry are most helpful for explanation in setting the stage for what ensues. The timeliness of Gershwin's life mirrored by these entries is the authors' best contribution.

It is easy to see why, more than eighty years after George Gershwin's first big success, "Rhapsody in Blue", his music has so long endured and is so endeared. This book is a great tribute to Gershwin and one I hope other readers will enjoy thoroughly.
HASH(0x9c6cf8c4) étoiles sur 5 Poor editing -- worst I've ever seen -- ruins this volume 19 décembre 2015
Par HH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
The life and music of George Gershwin have occasioned a wide-ranging and voluminous mass of written commentary since "Swanee" became a hit in the early 1920s and continuing to the present day. A volume devoted to presenting diverse, representative, and significant material by and about Gershwin in one uniform collection, carefully edited and designed for permanence, would have filled a deep and lingering lacuna in the literature on American music. Considering the vast popularity of Gershwin's music, such a volume could also appeal to an unusually large group of readers. So expectations run high "The George Gershwin Reader". Unfortunately, it fails to fulfill the high expectations it excites. Even worse, it fails for the most basic and egregious of reasons: the editorial methodology is inadequate. Carelessness and inconsistency in editing mar this volume to an alarming degree.

Editors of anthologies like this have two principal areas of responsibility. In the first place, the selections must be well chosen, arranged in a logical order, and of course present the original texts with scrupulous accuracy. This is a fundamental point, and the reader of such a collection should also expect that the editors will provide helpful commentary -- e.g., offering succinct background information on the authors and the selections, clearly identifying errors found in the original sources, cross-referencing issues and possible contradictions among the various texts, and suggesting additional sources that could further illuminate the material that has been chosen. Let me take up these issues in sequence.

Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson, the editors of "The George Gershwin Reader", did choose and compile much worthwhile material. Reminiscences of the composer by family and friends are included, along with newspaper accounts of major premieres, articles both casual and serious from periodicals, and the occasional selection from a book. Particularly welcome are the generous offerings from Gershwin's correspondence; eleven letters exchanged between the composer and librettist DuBose Heyward tellingly document the evolution of "Porgy and Bess". Wyatt's interviews with Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, who portrayed the protagonists in the original production of "Porgy", haven't appeared elsewhere and offer invaluable insights into the composer and his work. One can always quarrel about selections. Although Gershwin's own published articles are well represented, it seems curious that his contribution to Cowell's "American Composers", a major book in its day, appears nowhere in "The George Gershwin Reader". Also striking is the absence of anything written about Gershwin by his teacher Edward Kilenyi. Also mysterious is the decision to include only one scholarly article (a fine one, Mary Dupree's " 'Jazz,' the Critics, and American Art Music in the 1920s"); for there has plainly been heightened academic interest in Gershwin during the past three decades.

The selections in "The George Gershwin Reader" are grouped very logically into eight sections. The first, "Portraits of the Artist," provides general commentary on the composer, principally by family and friends. The following five sections proceed chronologically through Gershwin's career, beginning with "The Growing Limelight (1919-1924)" and concluding with "Last Years: Hollywood (1936-1937)." Then comes a group of "Obituaries and Eulogies," and a final section, "As Time Passes." The only material that seems misplaced in this arrangement is Nanette Kutner's "Radio Pays a Debt" in the "Last Years" section; this article centers upon "Porgy" and would have fit better in the preceding section devoted exclusively to the opera. Well-chosen and well-ordered selections can produce a fine anthology, but only if the presumed and necessary scrupulous care is taken with the texts themselves. I would not expect to have to focus a review of an important book by a major publisher upon the most basic editorial matters; one should be able to take such things for granted and proceed to discuss issues of intellectual substance. In the present instance, this is not possible. Serious trouble appears at the end of the second section, and the editorial problems accumulate steadily throughout the remainder of the book.

Section 2 concludes with Ira Gershwin's article about lyric writing,"Which Came First?" More accurately, section 2 concludes with excerpts from Ira Gershwin's article; however, the editors fail to inform readers that they have cut the article -- let alone where they have done so. The result is that Gershwin's superbly articulate brother is rendered virtually incoherent at points, as when the printed text inexplicably lurches from a discussion of "The Babbitt and the Bromide" (from "Funny Face"), into the middle of commentary on the song "The Saga of Jenny," (from "Lady in the Dark"), which Ira Gershwin wrote with Kurt Weill after George's death. (If the editors made the choice to cut the article, why they left these passages about a Weill song in "The George Gershwin Reader" is unfathomable to me!) The problem of texts that have been subjected to cutting, without even the provision of ellipses as indications to the reader, recurs elsewhere, and Larry Scott discusses this at length in his Notes review.

Following Scott, the proofreading (or lack thereof) done for "The George Gershwin Reader" is in all respects so slipshod that it becomes painful to discuss. Suffice it to say that by the time one encounters the note on p. 239 that refers to Isaac Goldberg's famous biography as "George Gershwin: A Study in Arminian [sic!] Music", one wonders whether anybody at Oxford U.P. had actually read through the text of this anthology before it was published. A list of other obvious errata would run several more lengthy paragraphs. To the people at Oxford who green-lighted this mess: you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

I could offer detailed remarks on the editorial commentary offered in "The George Gershwin Reader", but why go on? When the editors of this book have operated in such a way as to forfeit their own authority and the trust of potential readers by defaulting on their primary editorial responsibilities, there is simply no way to recommend the book. A volume with these deficiencies does not reflect well on anybody connected with producing it. While "The George Gershwin Reader" represents an important and worthy idea, the project as executed that has gone seriously awry. I can only hope that someday soon it will be done over and done right. As it stands, nobody is well-served -- not potential readers, surely not the authors of the original material, and above all not Gershwin himself, who deserves much, much better.
HASH(0x9c6cfc90) étoiles sur 5 A Must Read For Any Gershwin Fan 6 mars 2010
Par Walter Rimler - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a must-read for any fan of Gershwin's music and anyone who wants to know more about the man. The items have been brilliantly selected. Some of my favorites: a description of Gershwin by his sister, a magazine article from 1939 by Oscar Levant in which the famous musician/wit gives a perceptive and anecdote-filled portrait of his friend, and a letter by Gershwin to his mother written just prior to his death. Probably most interesting of all are interviews conducted by Robert Wyatt with Todd Duncan (the first Porgy) and Anne Brown (the first Bess). In these interviews, the two singers, speaking from the vantage point of more than fifty years, talk with candor and affection about the George Gershwin they knew.
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